Hi there! I hope you all had as amazing a Shavuos as I did! I love how we get to jump right back into kedushah (holiness) with Shabbos tonight!
This week’s parasha opens up with Moshe Rabbeinu teaching his brother Aharon HaKohein the laws of lighting the Menorah, the special candelabra lamp, in the Mishkan/Tabernacle and later, the Beis Hamikdash/Temple. Next comes the consecration of the Levi’im, the tribe of Levi, who will act as the priests and workers in the Temple. Each member of the tribe goes through a special waving and atonement ceremony to initiate them into service. The Torah then goes through the process of apprenticeship and training in as Levi’im come of age to serve in the Temple.
Next we learn about the Pesach/Passover offering in the desert, and the special holiday of Pesach Sheini, which gives the Jewish people a second chance to perform the commandment of bringing the Pesach offering. This is a rare characteristic of this commandment, because for most commandments, if you miss it, you lost the opportunity.
When the Jewish people travel in the desert, Hashem provides signs to show them when to travel and when to stop. This cloud and pillar of fire also protect the Jewish people from their enemies. When the Jews go to war, they sound blasts in special trumpets made specifically for this purpose. Everything the Jewish people do, is done with a certain order and organization. This includes camping, travelling, going to war, and serving Hashem in the Temple!
After a little travelling, Moshe invites his father-in-law, Yisro, to join the Jewish people. The nation then travels to their next encampment.
The Torah breaks for two verses. When the Aron, the Holy Ark, travels, Moshe Rabbeinu prays to Hashem to be with His people.
Back to the travelling at hand, we learn about the Mis’onenim, the complainers, who complains about the mann, the food that falls from Heaven throughout the nation’s travels in the desert. Moshe Rabbeinu gets upset about the people’s complaint and so Hashem commands Moshe Rabbeinu to gather together seventy elders, or scholars, to form the Sanhedrin, the highest court in the Jewish people, to help Moshe Rabbeinu with the leadership of the nation.
Hashem tells the people that He will give them meat in response to their complaints, but that it will not be such a pleasurable experience. Hashem bestows prophecy on the Sanhedrin and following this, quail comes down from Heaven to satisfy the people’s hunger for meat. The nation continues travelling and camps at Chatzeiros.
Moshe Rabbeinu‘s siblings, Miriam HaNeviah and Aharon HaKohen, are now focused on. They are discussing the level of prophecy that Moshe Rabbeinu gets, wondering if it is on so much of a higher level than theirs. Hashem, of course, hears them, and breaks into their conversation to affirm Moshe Rabbeinu‘s unique holiness. Moshe Rabbeinu davens but Miriam HaNeviah is struck with tzara’as, spiritual leprosy, anyway, for speaking Lashon Hara, gossip, about Moshe Rabbeinu.
And…. that’s where the parasha ends!
What lessons in relationships with our family and friends can you pick out from this week’s parasha?
Listening to Rak Hu by Ari Goldwag on his album Am Echad! LOVE IT!